sport

Maria Sharapova’s PR is perfect so far – now the hard work starts

She may be facing the biggest crisis of her career but Maria Sharapova gave a master-class in damage limitation when she announced she had failed a drugs test. For this story not to leak out beforehand is extraordinary in this era of innuendo, which shows the level of negotiating power that her management have. The […]

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So Farah, not so good Freuds

The agency faces a formidable challenge fighting the wildfire of speculation surrounding the Olympic athlete since a Panorama investigation was aired. Read the opening paragraphs of athlete Mo Farah’s Wikipedia page and you’ll be confronted bya roll call of records sufficient to fill the sports category of several Trivial Pursuit decks. But amid the distances […]

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What Lessons Can Brands Learn From The Brazilian World Cup fail?

Truman Capote once said “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.” Spare a thought for the poor Brazilian footballers. A mediocre team capsized on an ocean of hype. Into the darkness they go, licking their wounds after one of the greatest sporting humiliations. Like Icarus who dared to fly too near the sun, […]

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Conquest without contribution: sport now second to scandal and salary

Another late summer morning, another punning sport scandal headline graces the front page of the Sun. ‘L.Pee.W’ screamed the red top from Newstands across the country, as news broke that England’s victorious Cricket squad had celebrated their triumph with not so much a sticky wicket as a wet one. This would have been a big […]

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What did Trenton Oldfield Mean for Stuntsters?

Back at the start of last week, wherever you turned in mediaworld you found someone sticking their oar in (sorry) to the discussion on wayward idealist Australian Trenton Oldfield and his Pankhurst-esque self-sacrificial boat race stunt. I shan’t bother now to throw in my two cents about the morality of Oldfield’s actions, but I do […]

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Chisora/Haye- newest casualties of the sports media machine

The Chisora-Haye post fight Brew-ha ha over the weekend was a stark reminder that the world of Boxing provides us with the clearest and noisiest examples of the many pitfalls open to the young sports star. The scuffle between the two men has seen papers of all stripes filled with talk of the ‘disgrace’ in […]

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The Great Papal Turnaround

Before the Papal three-ring-circus moved into town, I was asked by a number of media outlets what I thought of the Pope’s PR apparatus. At the time, I commented that it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this anachronistic throwback was not fit for modern media purpose. Lacking charisma (in stark contrast with […]

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No More Heroes: The media, football and built in obsolescence

Today’s edition of the Sun features an exposé of Wayne Rooney’s recent night on the tiles as his team-mates “completed rigorous pre-season fitness tours”. It is a typically irked and excitable article, chipping away at the veneer of sporting heroism that has been liberally applied to Rooney and his sporting colleagues in the past. The […]

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England’s World Cup: Hype or Hope?

Forty-eight hours can feel like an eternity when your brand is in the centrifugal force in the maelstrom of public ridicule. In poor old Robert Green’s case, the error he committed by fumbling a save and letting in a dismal equalising goal in the World Cup match against the USA will plague him for the […]

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Lineker’s Sporting Stance

Top PR marks to Gary Lineker for withdrawing from writing his column for the Mail on Sunday in protest over their handling of the Lord Triesman story. Lineker has done the right thing by distancing himself as effectively as possible from the Mail on Sunday’s stance – even though they have offered him the opportunity […]

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No Sport Please, We’re British

What a depressing week for lovers of football. What a sorry, sad, insane mess played out by fools and halfwits. Ordinarily, the focus would have been on the big game, Arsenal v. Chelsea. Instead, this weekend, our interest in the game will be for all the wrong reasons. So, instead, I have decided to focus […]

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Risking the Tiger Woods Economy

I was asked to comment on the fallout from Tiger Woods’s bad week in the press by the Guardian last week – the resulting article appears in today’s Media section and online under the headline In Need of a Tigerish Attorney. I took a critical look at the way he and his lawyer, Mark NeJame, […]

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Quantum Physics and Thierry Henry

The Independent on Sunday published an article of mine yesterday, looking at what could have happened to Thierry Henry had he confessed to handling the ball in the France v Republic of Ireland match last week. The What If? is a classic sci-fi and fantasy conceit borrowing the idea of a multiverse from quantum physics, […]

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Andy Coulson: Tapping in to the Tories

As the former editor of the News of the World turned PR man for David Cameron, Andy Coulson’s appearance before the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee the other day was always likely to be difficult – this is a high-pressure enquiry into the phone hacking scandal. His performance was a masterstroke, […]

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Bespoke team serves ace in attempt to rebrand Andy Murray at WimbledonBuzz up!

Andy Murray prepares for a practice session surrounded by his team of coaches. Long tipped as a possible Wimbledon champion, it is not only Andy Murray’s game that has vastly improved. The relaxed demeanour, iconic all-white kit and trim haircut on show this week are a long way from the surly teenager with unruly curls […]

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Bongs, brands and swimming against the tide

“So, what now for this latest dopey Olympian?” asked a headline in today’s Daily Mail, referring to American swimmer Michael Phelps’ bong-sucking faux pas. Phelps, who holds the record for the most gold medals won at a single Olympics (eight in Beijing) and the most ever golds won by an Olympian (fourteen), was photographed nursing […]

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Rebecca Adlington to be new face of Speedo

British Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington will be announced as the new face of swimwear brand Speedo on Thursday, according to the Telegraph. Adlington will join Michael Phelps, who won a world record eight golds at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as Speedo’s official face of the world’s biggest swimwear brand. Phelps has been sponsored by […]

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Proud Sponsors of the Genocide Olympics

This arrived in my inbox this morning read the full article in Business Week. The practicalities of the commercial world. Proud Sponsors of the Genocide Olympics Business Week, June 21, 2007 http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/jun2007/gb20070621_511854.htm Among the nightmares that might plague a marketing executive, bankrolling an event that some call the Genocide Olympics could well be one of […]

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